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I'm interested in knowing if things like

  • File system structure creation/modification
  • Execution of commands like adduser
  • Changes made between specific duration start/end datetime

can be reversed, preferably to a set "savepoint". Is this possible?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 8 '11 at 9:40

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I don't know that there is a native savepoint feature in any OS. When virtualizing the power lies in the virtualizer and not the os being virtualized. –  zellio Sep 8 '11 at 5:11

2 Answers 2

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You are basically wanting to have file system snapshots.

ZFS is a file system which has this feature. It is available in FreeBSD operating system (and also Solaris/OpenSolaris but I do not know if that OS is dead nowadays).

Your third point:

  • changes made between specific duration start/end datetime

That is practically impossible unless end equals now and start equals exact time when snapshot was taken previously.

You can accomplish almost the same thing on Linux by putting your file systems on LVM volumes and using LVM snapshots (which are block device snapshots instead of file system snapshots), but in real life you probably do not want to do that. There is a big performance penalty for running LVM with active snapshots. (On the other hand proper file system snapshots like on ZFS have practically zero performance penalty.)

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Apple's OS X also has this feature (it is based on FreeBSD). They call it time machine. –  snap Sep 8 '11 at 9:48
    
Not exactly. Time Machine only does regular file-based backups of the entire system to enable users to restore a complete bootable system from backup. –  Daniel Beck Sep 8 '11 at 10:18

ZFS in solaris or openindiana would probably the easiest. Otherwise BTRFS (when its ready) or ext3cow have support for versioning - which is probably what you need.

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